Back 40 Radio
Ron Moores’ Back 40 is an hour-long program of traditional country, western and bluegrass music broadcast every Saturday at noon on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In can also be heard on the Internet, in Real Audio, at www.ckcufm.com. Currently, it is the only program in Ottawa of its kind, and the only one that regularly features interviews with Bluegrass artists from across North America (see below). Tired of the monotony of today’s commercial country music? Head for the Back 40 Saturday’s at noon for a slice of 80 years of classic country music!
In April 2015, Ron will be celebrating 22 years as the Back 40 Radio host. One of over 100 CKCU programs broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Back 40 has been on the air for 25 years. It began broadcasting in March 1990 and was hosted by the Back 40 Collective of founder, the late Bill Grant, Doug Torrance and Dave de Jongh. Joined in April 1993 by Ron Moores, the show eventually fell to Ron’s care, when Doug and Dave headed for points west. Since taking over in late 1993, Ron has retained the original format of old-tyme, country, western and bluegrass music and added such new features as:
- The Easter and Christmas Gospel Shows
- For lovers on Valentine’s Day
- Christmas in the Valley
- Year in Review and Preview at year’s end
- Bluegrass Unlimited/Bluegrass Now: “Top 15 Bluegrass Albums” (quarterly)
- New Releases and Discoveries, from local, regional, national and international artists.
- Special Profiles and Features
Ron brings diverse programming and insight into what lay behind the scenes of country music and its artists. The Back 40 profiles artists who play the rich diversity of country music – from yesterday’s “hillbilly” to today’s “alternative” – music you won’t find on commercial radio. You’ll follow their careers and listen to the songs that made them famous. From the rollicking old-timey string band sounds of Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers during the 1920’s and 30’s, to the brash contemporary “alternative” country of Fred Eaglesmith – you’ll hear a new artist or feature every week on the Back 40.
Ron attends many summer music festivals and events in the CKCU listening area and further afield such as the Central Canada Blue Grass Awards in Huntsville, Ontario, and the International Blue Grass Music Awards in Louisville, Kentucky. He interviews established bands as well as up-and-coming new groups, both local and international. Artists also call in from across North America. These interviews are featured throughout the year, providing interesting insights into the people and inspirations behind the music. Over the past twenty-two years, Ron’s guests have included many artists from the Ottawa Valley, North America and abroad.
Special Promotional Broadcasts
Every year, Ron previews a number of music festivals and special events throughout the Ottawa Valley. These include:
- Ottawa Valley Bluegrass Festival (with promoter Bob Johnston and Michael O’Reilly)
- Palmer Rapids Twin Festivals (with promoter Al Schuut)
- Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame
- International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA) broadcast from Louisville Kentucky’s Centre for the Performing Arts
- Central Canada Bluegrass Awards from the Deerhurst Lodge in Huntsville, Ontario.
Ron needs the summer weekends to attend festivals and interview the performers. While he is away, many talented guest hosts fill in and bring listeners their unique flavour to the Back 40. These include CKCU FM hosts Ray Harris (Friday Nite Truck Stop), Pat Moore (Saturday morning host) and techno-wizard par excellence Dale Pinkerton and former CHUO Cajun music program host Claude Lachaine.